It’s hard to win over a fan base at your introductory press conference, but new Colts coach Frank Reich might have actually pulled that off.
First of all, he actually showed up to thing, which is more than we can say for Josh McDaniels, who agreed toon Feb. 6, only to turn around and . When Reich , there was almost a guarantee that he was going to have answer a question about McDaniels, and that question came near the end of his 10-minute press conference.
Former Colts punter Pat McAfee, who now works for Barstool Sports, took the mic and asked Reich whether he “hates or loves Josh McDaniels for what happened.” Reich, who spent nearly his entire NFL career as a backup quarterback has a quick answer ready for McAfee’s question.
“The backup role has suited me well in my career,” Reich answered, as the crowd laughed.
You can hear Reich’s answer at the 35 second mark in the video below.
One thing Reich did reveal during his press conference is that he had zero interest in any other coaching jobs around the NFL. Once the playoffs started, Reich told his agent not to contact him about any possible coaching jobs until the Eagles season was over.
“I’m going dark,” Reich said. “I’m focused on the task at hand and that’s to help our team win playoff games and the Super Bowl. No phone calls, no texts. Whether there was any activity or not, I was dark. I was focused on one thing.”
Although the McDaniels era in Indy was only about eight hours long, it will have lasting impact on Reich’s coaching staff. The Colts hired three coaches who were supposed to coach under McDaniels, and all three of those coaches will be keeping their job under Reich.
“Before I came in for the interview, knowing that was the situation, knowing what had been said, knowing that those contracts were going to be honored, that’s part of the reason I love this organization, that there’s that kind of integrity,” Reich said.
That whole, “having integrity” thing could definitely be seen as a small swipe at McDaniels. The Colts decision to keep the three coaches means that Reich will be moving forward with a defensive coordinator, Matt Eberflus, who he didn’t hire.
For some coaches, that might be an issue, but not for Reich.
“Everything was coming back positive,” Reich said. “Since I’ve taken the job, I’ve had the chance to talk to with Matt at some length. This is like a home run. Things happen in strange ways. Like [Colts owner Jim] Irsay said, this is a crazy business and I could not be more excited than to have those three coaches.
One thing Reich cleared up on Tuesday is whether or not he’ll be calling plays in 2018. As offensive coordinator for the Eagles over the past two seasons, Reich didn’t get to call plays because Eagles coach Doug Pederson handled those duties.
Reich said he’ll likely handle the playcalling duties the same way the Eagles handled them: By Collaborating with everyone on the offensive coaching staff.
“I will call the plays,” Reich said. “I’ll call the plays, but you can’t even imagine the collaboration that goes into preparing the call sheet, preparing the first 15, how we’re prioritizing our third down calls, how we’re prioritizing our red zone calls, all the situational football during the course of the game, how the communication goes between the play-caller and the rest of the offensive staff, what’s said, how we’re talking to the quarterback. It comes down to, there has to be one voice, and I’ll be that voice on game day, but it will be a collaborative effort.”
One of the biggest questions for the Colts heading into 2018 revolves around the health of Andrew Luck. Although Reich was asked what he’s going to do to make Luck “Magical” again, the new Colts coach said that winning isn’t just about one player.
“This is a team game,” Reich said. “As great as he is — and I believe he’s the best — but this game, the reason we all love this game, I just came off of a team that we lost our franchise quarterback and still won a Super Bowl. I know Andrew embraces it. This game is not built on any one player. He is magical. He has special, unique traits and abilities that I respect as much as anybody and I can’t wait to work with him, but if we’re going to win championships, and that’s the plan, it’s going to be about, surrounding, bringing out the best in everybody.”
Reich also revealed that he signed his new contract in a unique location: He went over to Irsay’s house on Sunday to finalize the deal.
“Being over at Mr. Irsay’s house the other day to sign the contract, I can’t even tell you, that experience, it’s going to be hard to top,” Reich said. “In his home with his family, my family, the Colts family, it literally felt like a family gathering.”
Although Reich hasn’t technically won any games as the Colts head coach, we should probably just go ahead and give him a 1-0 career record, because, he definitely won his press conference on Tuesday.